Meet Pureté Nature, one of our Summer vendors, that contributed their Ylang Ylang essential oils. We spoke to founder Kevin Sarkodie about this wellness brand and using their passion to support their home country Ghana. For more on Pureté Nature, check out this interview they did with ARB Nation TV.
How did Pureté Nature come to be?
Pureté Nature came during our annual trip to Ghana in 2013. We wanted to make a difference, to educate and to provide a better future for others and ourselves. The only problem [was] we just didn't know how to get there. Ghana is notorious for its fresh fruit and vegetables, medicinal plants, skilled craftsmen, proficient seamstresses and dedicated farmers. However, with evidence of rising numbers in unemployment and deteriorating economy, we were unsure as to whether they [Ghana] comprehended the significance of their roles. Our objectives soon became clear. We sought to educate and help the local people see the potential in their skills and the land on which they live. Now we could see the light. We began to look at everything with fresh eyes.
Like any great concept, with multiple possibilities, we had to narrow it down to a starting point, find our feet and begin to make small yet significant steps. Our aim was to leave for England with an initial project. That project came in the form of shea butter. Our shea butter became something we could package and sell to the English market, providing evidence to the local Ghanaians that what they have is something other countries want, this giving Ghanaians the advantage. From the beginning stages of research and planning, we had altogether agreed to ‘cut out the middle man’, thus bringing consumer closer to producer and vice-versa.
We believe that we can only truly sell a wonderful product well once we know it inside out and back-to-front. Not only did we want rid of the man in the middle but we were reluctant to even entertain the idea of having a third party help us produce a product from our raw material. Everything from our relationship with the Ghanaians to production, packaging and selling would be done by our team and our team alone. We wanted everything to be attainable, pure and natural. Once in agreement, Pureté Nature was born. Hence the inspiration behind the name. Pureté Nature means purity of nature in English.
How do you source the natural products that you use in your oils, body butter etc.?
We source our products by visiting the growers and producers ourselves. We speak to them to gain a better understanding of their processes.
What makes Pureté Nature different from other natural, wellness companies/products?
All our products are sourced by ourselves to ensure we get the finest quality products direct from the source. We also make sure we pay a fair price to our producers. We donate books, clothes and equipment to benefit their community. 20% of our sales (not profit) go back to the producers.
What have been your greatest accomplishments and challenges as a business so far?
Still running after six years. Self-sustaining without any external sources of finance after six years before COVID. [We were] Guba awards Business start-up of the year 2017 winners and Best Creative Business winner 2019 for Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
Our challenges [include]: Staying consistent. Finding the staff that understands the brand. Competitors. `
What does it mean to you to be Black-owned business?
It's very inspirational knowing that what we do will inspire young black children for them to see that it's very possible to establish a successful business. We aspire to inspire.
How are you adapting your business to COVID-19 environment?
After having our main outlet closed down in Fulham due to COVID, we have decided to turn the front of our workshop into a shop so that we can carry on providing a shop space where customers can come and shop throughout the week.
Do you have any advice for Black creatives and entrepreneurs?
Stay Consistent & Positive.